The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Morenci year-end police report 01.13.10

Written by David Green.

Crime statistics go up and down from year to year in Morenci, but overall the various incidents remain consistent, said police chief Larry Weeks in his annual year-end report to city council Monday night.

“It remains fairly consistent,” Weeks said. “We live in a safe community. It’s a good place to live. We do have some crime, as every community does, but it’s not dramatic and it’s not out of control so I feel comfortable about where we’re at.”

Chief Weeks said the past year was the first in a while for consistent staffing. He’s faced layoffs and short-term employment by officers moving on to larger departments, but recent months have brought stability.

“I’ve had my most consistent crew that I’ve had in the seven years that I’ve been here,” he said.

Weeks noted an overall increase of 80 calls over the previous year, but a few fewer calls than 2007.

The incidence of larcenies and bad checks were both down despite the weak economy, he said, along with damaged property.

Healthy and safety complaints—dog problems, tall grass, etc., declined but, but that was partially due to a change in procedure.

Weeks noted an increase in suspicious situations and general disputes about property, along with an increase in calls to serve outside the city.

The state police and county sheriff’s department have been cut back in staff and local departments are sometimes called to help fill the void.

“That’s something we’re going to have to seriously continue to monitor,” Weeks said.

Community outreach efforts continue to remain high. Weeks said he’s spent a lot of time in the school buildings—something he considers important.

A special effort in 2009 was a collaboration with the fire department to talk with high school seniors about smoke detectors in relation to fire safety in dormitories and off-campus living.

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